The Archive Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the oldest Sanskrit inscription ever found in South India. This inscription gives information about Saptamatrika.
Saptamatrika is a group of seven goddesses in Hinduism including Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Chamunda, Indrani.
In some sects, these seven goddesses are combined with ‘Mahalakshmi’ and are called ‘Ashta Matri’.
The information of Saptamatrika has been found on the Kadamba copper plate, the early Chalukya and the Eastern Chalukya copper plate.
Chebrolu inscription description:-
This is the oldest Sanskrit inscription that has been found at Chebrolu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
This inscription has been received during the renovation and repair of the local Bhimeshwar temple.
This inscription contains the Sanskrit and Brahmi script, it was issued in 207 AD by King Vijay of the Satavahana dynasty.
According to the Matsya Purana, King Vijay was the 28th king of the Satavahana dynasty, who ruled for 6 years.
This inscription describes the construction of a temple and a mandapa.
In this inscription, a person named Karthik has been ordered to build a prasad (temple) and mandapa near the Saptmatruka temple in a village called Tambrape, which was the ancient name of the village Chebrolu.
Prior to this Chebrolu Sanskrit inscription, the Nagarjunakonda inscription issued in the fourth century by Ikshvaku king Ehvala Chantamula was considered to be the oldest Sanskrit inscription in South India.
Another inscription is also found at this place which is in the Prakrit language and Brahmi script which is said to be of the first century.
Archaeological Survey of India:-
The Archaeological Survey of India is a primary organization for archaeological research and conservation of the cultural heritage of the nation.
The main function of the Archaeological Survey of India is to maintain the ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
Additionally, as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, it regulates all archaeological activities in the country.
It also regulates Antiquities and Precious Art Act, 1972.
The Archaeological Survey of India works under the Ministry of Culture. It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who was also its director-general.
The Satavahanas ruled the regions of mainly Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. This dynasty was founded by Simuk and he founded his capital at Pratishthan / Paithan in Maharashtra.
Satavahana ruler ‘Haal’ was a great poet. He has composed ‘Gathasaptashati’ in the Prakrit language.
The official language of the Satavahanas was Prakrit and the script was Brahmi.
During the Satavahana period, silver and copper coins were used in the trade, business, which were called ‘Kashrapan’.
Bharuch was the major port and trading center of the Satavahana dynasty.
Ikshvakus emerged in the Krishna-Guntur region on the remains of the Satavahanas in the eastern part of the Indian peninsula.
The Ikshvakus carried out the practice of grants of land in the Krishna-Guntur region. Many copper leaflets have been found in this area.