The South Asia Inscriptions Database

Deotek Stone Slab

The slab is wider at one end and and narrower at the other (an oblong trapezoid). Its height/thickness is not reported. It bears a Mauryan-period inscription written lengthwise about the middle region of the top of the slab, and a Vākāṭaka inscription (%IN00155) running crosswise, beginning at the narrower end of the stone. Sometime in the course of its history it was converted into a liṅga base; the socket for the liṅga is next to the Vākāṭaka inscription (i.e. below its last line, if I understand correctly, but Mirashi's description is none too clear), and a roughly cut channel was "carried mercilessly" (#ASIR_07:124 ) through this inscription to drain off oblations.

Object URI
OB00142
Extent
5.4cm width x 7.3cm height.
Notes and provenance
The slab contains two inscriptions, one dating to the time of the Maurya Emperor Aśoka and the second to a Vākāṭaka ruler called Rudrasena, although there is some debate over whether this is Rudrasena I or Rudrasena II. (Shastri p. 4)
According to Mirashi, the inscription records the construction of a temple (p. 2) whilst Shastri argues that the inscription records the construction of a ‘court of justice’. (Shastri, pp. 4-5)
Both the Aśokan period and Rudrasena inscriptions refer to the locality of the inscriptions as Chikumburi/Chikkamburi which suggests that the region flourished from at least the Aśokan era to the early Vākāṭaka rule. Shastri states that Hiralal has identified the site of Chikumburi/Chikkamburi with the village of Chikmārā. (Shastri, p. 5) Although the inscription is not dated, Mirashi states that this is the earliest known Vākāṭaka inscription (p. 3).
History details
First inscribed in Mauryan times. #ASIR_07:124 felt that the Vākāṭaka inscription was "cut evidently with some regard for the prior inscription", but #Mirashi:1963:1-2 disagrees, believing that part of the earlier inscription had been chiselled away to make room for the later one. At a yet later stage the slab was converted into a liṅga base. The stone was discovered by J.D. Beglar in 1873-74 in the village of Deoṭek (20.60981, 79.738403), 50 miles southeast of Nagpur. At the time it was in the shade of a magnificent tamarind tree in what had been the sanctum of a wholly ruined small temple, and was a favourite resting spot with locals. A photograph of the site (with a less ruined temple) is available at http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/g/largeimage59252.html. #ASIR_07:125 notes that this type of stone is not found in the vicinity of its findspot, so the stone may have originated elsewhere.
Event Type
Stored
Place
Central Museum, Nagpur
Event Place Uncertain