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Digitalising ancient inscriptions

  • Published
    2nd Feb, 2023

The Union Budget highlighted the government’s efforts for digitisation in the country, including a digital library for children and adolescents for preserving ancient inscriptions.

Highlights of the initiative:

  • It will facilitate the availability of quality books in different languages, genres and at different levels.
  • Objective: The government will also try to inculcate a culture of reading by collaborating with NGOs, which will provide age-appropriate reading material to everyone.
  • Key features:
  • The National Book Trust and Children’s Book Trust will also participate in the digitising event.
  • The library would be “device-agnostic”.
  • A specialized repository will be made in a digital epigraphy museum through the digitization of one lakh ancient inscriptions in the first stage.
  • Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (Bharat SHRI) will be set up in a digital epigraphy museum.


  • States will be encouraged to set up physical libraries for them at Panchayat and ward levels and provide infrastructure for accessing the National Digital Library resources.
  • To build a culture of reading and to make up for pandemic-time learning loss, the National Book Trust, Children’s Book Trust and other sources will be encouraged to provide and replenish non-curricular titles in regional languages and English to these physical libraries.

Ancient Inscriptions:

Junagarh Rock inscription

  • The Junagarh Rock inscription of Rudradaman is considered an early example of chaste Sanskrit, written in mid second century AD.
  • It mentions that one of Chandragupta Maurya’s governors, Pushyagupta, was responsible for building a dam on Sudarshana Lake near Girnar in Kathiawar.
  • From another inscription of Skandgupta, we know that this dam was repaired during his reign, almost 800 years after it was built.

Mahrauli Inscription / Garuda Pillar

  • The Mahrauli Iron Pillar was originally placed on a hill near the Beas and was brought to Delhi by the King of Delhi. 
  • This pillar credits Chandragupta with the conquest of the Vanga Countries by his battling alone against the confederacy of the enemies united against him.
  • It also credits him for the conquest of Vakatkas in a fight that ran across seven mouths of Sindhu.
  • This pillar was established by Chandragupta-II of the Gupta dynasty as Vishnupada in honor of Lord Vishnu.

Allahabad Pillar Inscription (Prayag Prasasti)

  • This was issued by Samudragupta and was composed by Harisena.
  • It is written in very simple and refined Sanskrit in Champu Kavya style. It lists the achievements of Samudragupta.
  • This Inscription is a eulogy of Samudragupta and mentions about the conquests of Samudragupta and the boundaries of the Gupta Empire.
  • As per this inscription, Samudragupta defeated 9 kings in the North, and 12 Kings in the South, reducing all the Atavika states to vassalage.
  • It also mentions that more than five states in the frontier states surrendered and accepted his suzerainty. He had close contact with the kingdom of Ceylon and South East Asian colonies.
  • The eulogy of Harisena describes him as the hero of 100 battles.
  • He performed Ashvamedha Yajna, this has been testified by a seal of Samudragupta bearing a Horse. 

Nasik Inscription

  • The achievements of Gutamiputra Satkarni were mentioned in Nasik Inscription which was composed by his mother Gautami Balasri.
  • The Nasik Prasasti describes Gautamiputra as the ruler of the Aparanta, Anupa, Saurashtra, Kukura, Akara and Avanti and defeated the Saka King Nahapana and restored the prestige of his dynasty by reconquering a large part of the former dominions of the Satavahanas.

Nanaghat Inscription

  • The Nasik and Nanaghat inscriptions are the major sources that give detailed information about the Satavahana Empire.
  • The Nasik inscription was made by Gautami Balasari and the Nanaghat inscription was issued by Naganika.


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