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No. 93.-SEPTEMBER, 1839.
Art. I.-Sanscrit Inscription on the Slab removed from above the
Kothoutiya gate of the Fort Rohtas. By the Editors. In our May number, we presented our readers with an interesting letter from Mr. RAVENSHAW, communicating some inscriptions collected in Behar. Mr. Ravenshaw notices the Persian Inscription over the gateway of the palace on the summit of the fort of Rohtas. This informs us that the palace was built by RAJA Man Sing. The date of the inscription is the 28th day of the 7th month of 1005, H. Æ., or about the middle of April, 1597 A. D. Mr. RAVENSHAW adds, that the Sanscrit inscription over the Kothoutiya gate of the fort had been taken to Chupra by Mr. W. Ewer, and was then on the premises of Mr. Lukx. It has since been forwarded to the Asiatic Society, and we are thus enabled to present our readers with a transcript and translation.
The inscription gives the following genealogy of the Tomara family for eleven generations, and twelve Rajas.
Vira Mitra Sen, the last, succeeded his brother, and is stated to have conquered from Sher Khan the fortress of Rohitaswa,--to the great astonishment of the Emperor of Delhi. He rebuilt it, and it became known by his name. He erected in it a row of lofty temples, in which he located Siva under the name of MITRESWARA, and he also in 1688 Sumbut, or 1631 A. D., built a palace and a Mundira in which he located DURGA, and it was by his order that the Poet Siva Deva of Maithila (celebrated at the Court of Delhi) composed, in honor of his illustrious family, the verses which were found engraved over the Kothoutiya gate. This is named from the neck of rock which joins the hill to the table land. BUCHANAN mentions this inscription,* but evidently was not acquainted with its contents. He describes it as confirming the facts obtained from the Persian inscription, and as contemporary with it. But in reality there is no mention of the Viceroy Man Singh, and the date 1654 Sumbut, quoted by BUCHANAN, seems to have been obtained by the addition of 57 to 1597, the Christian year which corresponds with 1005, 1. Æ. in the Sanscrit inscription the figures 1688 are very distinct, and this year also results from the conventional numeral words used, “ vasu dwana shat chandra."
The bold assertion that VIR MITRA took the fort from the formidable Sher Khan is not justified by history; and if we assume on the evidence of the stone, as we perhaps may, that Vir MITRA was living in 1631 A. D. it is impossible that he could have been opposed in war to the celebrated Pathan emperor who died in 1540. We are left then to surmise that Vir Mitra Sen may have been a native chieftain of that part of Behar, and perhaps entrusted by the Mohammedan ruler with the charge of the fort. The invention and adulation of the poet has supplied the rest.
Though the slab should be thus convicted of error and exaggeration, there may still be some historical facts pointed at. In the 7th verse the grandfather of Vir MITRA's great-grandfather is represented to have sustained the king of Yavanapura (Jionpoor),--the king of the east, against the emperor of Delhi. The dominion of the Jionpoor Muslim kings extended to Behar. Allusion is probably made to the emperor BELOLI, and Hosen Shad the king of the East. After a long struggle the latter was in 1478, driven to seek shelter with ALLAHUDDEN the ruler of Bengal. It may be observed that the Hindus applied the term Yavana to denote their Afghan invaders, though this term properly belongs to the Greek or Ionian. We have in
* Buchanan, vol. ii. p. 132.