Friday, January 8, 2021

Ganagamiya Pillar Inscription of Kassapa IV

Ganagamiya Pillar Inscription of Kassapa IV
Ganagamiya Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa IV is presently on the display at the Inscription Gallery of Colombo National Museum, Sri Lanka. 

Discovery
The exact provenance of this inscription is not known  (Ranawella, 2005). However, according to its content, this record has a link with a village named Ganagamiya situated in a region named Valpita, a place probably situated north of Anuradhapura (Ranawella, 2005). 

The pillar had been broken into two fragments when it was brought to the Colombo Museum (Paranavitana, 1933). As they were treated as two different inscriptions by the museum, the eye-copies and the estampages of them were prepared in 1907 and 1924 (Paranavitana, 1933). However, after the correct identification, the fragments were joined together and numbered as a single inscription.

The pillar
The pillar is 7 feet tall and the width of each side is 8 inches (Paranavitana, 1933; Ranawella, 2005). It contains a Sinhala inscription engraved on all four sides of the pillar. The first and second sides contain 32 lines of writing each while the third face has 33 lines (Paranavitana, 1933; Ranawella, 2005). The fourth side contains 12 lines of writing and the figures of a scythe, a monk's fan, a crow, and a dog (Paranavitana, 1933; Ranawella, 2005). 

Content
The inscription is dated in the 11th regnal year of a king styled Kasub Sirisangbo, the brother of the Great King Udaya Abhaya (Paranavitana, 1933; Ranawella, 2005). This ruler, according to scholars, is King Kassapa IV (898-914 A.D.), the brother of King Udaya II [(887-898 A.D.) Ranawella, 2005]. The purport of the record was to register certain immunities granted to an estate that was a donation to a lying-in-home by a Mahale named Senalna (Ranawella, 2005). This person has been identified as Mahalekha Sena mentioned in the Culavamsa in the account of the reign of Kassapa IV (Ranawella, 2005). 

References
1) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Colombo Museum Pillar-inscription of Kassapa IV. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.270-277.
2) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.48-53.

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This page was last updated on 28 January 2021
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