TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: 32 x 40.5 cm; with a rounded protrusion of c. 6 x 9.5 cm at the top edge and with a small hole for mounting.
NOTES: Rare.
ITEM ID: 4279
  • Artwork
  • Artwork
  • Artwork

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Land Grant by Nanyadeva

Century: 12th (1101-1200)

A rare land grant by Nanyadeva, a ruler who originated from South India but established a kingdom in the southern region of modern Nepal in the early 12th century AD.

This is a fascinating document that is difficult to read since the text is very small and many characters differ from one another only in tiny details, it is hard to make out some tantalising fragments, including the name and title of the king (verso line 12) and the month in verso line 16. This plate is an important historical witness as very little has been published about Nānyadeva, and there is no other known copperplate charter by him and absolutely no information about his genealogy.

Note also that the picture on the recto face is not of a spinning woman, but of Garuḍa (the man-bird mount of Viṣṇu) worshipping Viṣṇu’s holy symbols. The glyph at the top left seems to be an ornate character Śrī; at the top right is indeed a sun and moon. The circle to the left of Garuḍa’s wingtip is either a cakra (Viṣṇu’s discus) or a representation of the earth; the symbol on the far right is definitely a śaṅkha (conch shell, another attribute of Viṣṇu); the sticklike object to the left of this is probably a gadā (the mace of Viṣṇu).