The decoding of copper plates reveals new information about Shilabhattarika

The article discusses the discovery of new material on the famed ancient Sanskrit poetess Shilabhattarika by the Pune-based Bhandarkar Institute through the decoding of copper plates.

Shilabhattarika, who was she?

  • Shilabhattarika was an Indian Sanskrit poet who lived in the ninth century.
  • She lived in the Narmada Valley, near the Vindhya Mountains.
  • Mediaeval Sanskrit literary writers appreciated her poetic abilities.
  • It is thought that she is related to Shilamahadevi, the queen of Rashtrakuta monarch Dhruv in the eighth century.
  • She was the daughter of Chalukya ruler Pulakeshin II, according to current study.

Her literary works

  • Shilabhattarika is known to have composed at least 46 poems on a variety of subjects, including love, morality, politics, nature, beauty, the seasons, insects, rage, indignation, rules of conduct, and the characteristics of many types of heroines.
  • Shilabhattarika is regarded as a pivotal character in the Panchali literary style, which strives for “a balance between words and meaning.”
  • The Panchali style, according to Rajashekhara, can be found in the works of Shilabhattarika and probably in some of the works of the 7th-century poet Bana.
  • A 14th-century anthology, Sharangadhara-paddhati, celebrates her and three other female poets for their exceptional literary genius and erudition.
  • “toch chandrama nabhat” (it is the same moon in the sky), one of the most famous songs by Marathi poetess Shanta Shelke, is inspired by Shilabhattarika’s lines.

Recent research’s key findings

  • The study looked at a copperplate charter made up of five copper plates from the time of Badami Chalukyan monarch Vijayaditya (696-733 CE).
  • A metal ring with the varaha (boar) seal, the Badami Chalukyas’ insignia, kept the plates together.
  • The Sanskrit text, written in late-Brahmi script, was 65 lines long.
  • According to the charter, King Vijayaditya Chalukya gave the village of Chigateri to a scholar called Vishnu Sharma on the recommendation of Shilabhattarika’s son, Mahendravarma.
  • Shilabhattarika’s husband, Dadiga, was appointed governor of Kogali, and his elder brother Polavira replaced their father Mokkara as king of the Western Ganga dynasty, which served as subordinates to the Chalukyas of Badami and fought the Pallavas of Kanchi.
  • Shilabhattarika’s father-in-law, Mokkara (or Mushkara), and his father, Durvinita, who was a skilled composer who patronised Bharavi, the author of the classical epic Kiratarjuniya, were also featured on the plates.
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