This work is a product of the Inscriptions of India Programme of the Indian Council of Historical Research undertaken with a view to making inscriptions dating from circa sixth to fourteenth century a.d. available in handy volumes. Part I studies the inscriptions of the Sarabhapuriyas, Panduvamsins and Somavamsins who played a major role in shaping the destinies of the Chhattisgarh region of Madhya Pradesh (Kosala) and the adjoining region of Orissa from about the sixth to the early twelfth century a.d. It provides a background to the study of the inscriptions by attempting to deal with their formal aspects like the format, palaeography, language, orthography, contents and methods of dating and to trace, for the first time, the evolution of their draft. Dharmasastra injunctions regarding the preparation of deeds of land-grants and their actual epigraphic parallels have also been discussed at length. The work sheds welcome light on the chronology and history of the region during the period in question and offers several original suggestions basing on fresh discoveries and new interpretation of known records. With its many interesting features, the work will surely be found enlightening by students and researchers delving deep into early Indian history and epigraphy.
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